Preview: Arma 3 and the Island of Limnos
In the year 2035, as the US defends the Pacific in proxy-wars with China, NATO struggles to retain members as more and more leave to join a growing Eastern alliance. Following the aggressive military expansion by Iranian Armed Forces, stopped narrowly by a treaty ratification in 2034, the small Greek Island of Limnos has become the focal point of a tense global conflict that threatens a world war of epic proportions. The Aegean Sea is the new frontline, with Iran occupying Greek sovereign lands. Battle scars still show on this little island of less than 300 square kilometers - wounds left from the Iranian invasion in 2033.
Bohemia Interactive has spent a great deal of time creating a very real, very detailed feel to their upcoming military shooter, Arma 3. They have painstakingly fleshed out a seemingly possible near-future world caught on the verge of a gripping scenario featuring actual real world powers. The very thought of such an Iranian resurgence is almost a bit too close to home, but in that it gives us a more understandable battleground that doesn't patronize it's audience with a mere generic "terrorist" style enemy threat.
It is true that many reviews and player comments of Arma 2 note the difficult learning curve, and because of the vast game modes and missions, may have a hard time figuring out "how to play". Bohemia Interactive, as a result, will release Arma 3 with a greatly enhanced GUI, giving the player a much more usable interface, along with better tutorial and training complements to round out the player and get them into the game. Players will enjoy a new degree of control and interaction with their characters, and the environment itself, with such concepts as diving underwater, and customizable gear down to the uniform itself.
Arma 3 will show remarkable improvements with it's updated Real Virtuality 4 engine, and it will be complimented by Nvidia's PhysX engine for more realistic collision detection and vehicle handling. Improved flight models are being adopted from Take On Helicopters, and players will still have full head tracking support and TrackIR support that will make flying through volumetric clouds over picture perfect terrain a breathtaking experience. DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 will be supported to help show off the staggering view distances varying from 6-20 kilometers. I am personally looking forward to ragdoll physics - there'll be nothing like shooting a guard out of a tower and laughing as he tumbles to the ground like a sack of digital meat! More information is sure to come soon on Arma III, and we have the Community Alpha to look forward to this Summer, and a Beta directly following that. No need to freeze yourself and risk having to fight a bunch of intelligent atheist sea otters in the future!
by Aaron Semler, Senior Editor VETERANS-GAMING